We're Moving to Arizona, USA!
Yes, you read that right, we are moving to Tucson, Arizona. This might come as a surprise to many of you, in fact, it comes as a surprise to us too. We had never really intended moving to the USA, but in the last few months a number of things have happened that have prompted us to re-evaluate where we live, and this has resulted in us making the decision to move to the USA.
Why we're moving
At the beginning of this year, our landlord informed us that the owners of the house (he's not really the owner) have decided to sell the house when our lease expires in October. This meant we needed to start looking for alternative accommodation. Unfortunately, with only me (Raoul) earning an income, this meant that our list of options was severely limited, with most of them being outside our price range. In fact, all of them are, but we realised we'd need to pay at least R2000 per month more in order to afford the cheapest house available.
We have always struggled financially. Making ends meet every month has been a challenge, and on top of that we've had to deal with problems with our car as well, costing us dearly in order to get it fixed. Needing to fork out an additional minimum of R2000 per month made it seem like we were destined for financial failure, and we had no way out.
On the other hand, recently Hannah's parents have been able to make some financially astute decisions, and are now in a position to provide us with a home until we are able to establish ourselves in the USA.
On top of that, the income to expense ratio in the USA is a lot bigger than here in South Africa. The fact of the matter is that in South Africa we were slowly running out of time. In the USA we can not only earn money, we should also be able to put money away for savings, while still living a comfortable life.
Additionally, Hannah's permanent residence application was rejected due to filing errors (on our part and theirs), and we have been left with too little time to get in all new applications before her current visa expires, as well as the prospect of unaffordable application fees.
Hannah's visa expires in October, as does our lease. We don't believe in coincidence.
What we're doing
We are currently in the process of sorting out Hannah's and the kids' US birth certificates and passports. In the next week or so we will be filing for a visa for myself to be able to enter the USA as a spouse of a US citizen. (Prayer point: Hannah's visa expires at the end of October, and Josiah's unabridged birth certificate is still in processing, which means we will have to make a later appointment to get his American documentation sorted out. Please pray that his birth certificate comes through as quickly as possible, and/or that Hannah's visa will be at least temporarily extended.)
Once the passports are sorted out and my visa processing has started, Hannah and the kids will be moving to Arizona while I stay behind and sort out the house and our belongings. (Prayer point: Flying alone with three children is always a daunting idea, but to do so overseas and with three children who will most likely be very upset about leaving their father behind is even more so- please pray for traveling mercies and calmness for Hannah and the children.) Once my visa has been approved, I will then fly over to join them in Arizona.
We don't have exact dates just yet, but Hannah and the kids will be flying out in October, just before Hannah's residence permit expires, and I will follow in December or January, depending on how long my visa takes, and how long it takes for me to wrap things up here.
Are you coming back?
We don't know if or when we are coming back to South Africa. Both Hannah and myself love South Africa, and we'd be happy to come back some day if God opens the door again. If nothing else, we'd certainly love to visit South Africa.
What you can do
1. Please pray for us
This is not a decision we made lightly (neither of us had any intention to emigrate until recently), and we still have a lot of things to sort out. See the prayer points above for specific things to pray about.
2. Buy our stuff!
We need to get rid of everything in our house, and use the money to pay off our debts so that we can leave South Africa without owing anyone anything.
3. Adopt a pet
We have a dog, three cats and a fish tank which need homes. We're looking for pet lovers who want to continue loving our pets for us. This is the most heart-wrenching part of moving for us, but we can't afford to take them with us.
4. Help Raoul
I have to stay in Cape Town for a few months while I wait for my visa. In this time I needs to sell the contents of the house and then hopefully find somewhere to stay for the remaining 2 or 3 months. If you can house me, or transport me, I'd really appreciate that. The less we have to spend in these last few months, the better. I'll also need help cleaning up the house before I hand it back to the landlord.
5. Keep up-to-date
We have started a group on Facebook which we'll be using for keeping people up-to-date with our emigration process. This will include any news about traveling and visas, and a price list of our household items for sale.